We here at Trophy Awards have been reminiscing about the best thing to come out of the 90’s: TGIF. For the sake of arbitrary ranking, here are our favorite series and the awards they should have won.
Award: Most Foreign
Oh, Balki…every girl’s favorite foreigner and every cousin’s worst nightmare. Of the 28 different shows available on ABC’s TGIF from 1988 to 2000 (there were lots of half-season series in the lineup), Perfect Strangers is the only show featuring a foreign character – unless you count the extraterrestrials from the 8-episode long Aliens in the Family.
Award: Best Sappy Music
“Everywhere you look (everywhere)
There’s a heart (there’s a heart)
A hand to hold on to.”
And that’s just the theme song. Full House ties with Perfect Strangers as the second-longest-running show in the TGIF lineup, though the show graduated to Tuesday night after two years of Friday family-friendly programming. Where Full House excelled was in crafting the most heavy-handed instrumentals to tie up emotional storylines. From boy problems to bad grades, Danny Tanner, Uncle Jesse and “Uncle” Joey taught us that everything can be fixed with a violin and heart-to-heart talk.
Award: Most Urkel & Most Urquelle
The longest-running show on TGIF, weighing in at nine seasons, Family Matters took over the much-vaunted 8 o’clock slot when Full House moved to Tuesdays. The theme song is every bit as epic as Full House, so it comes as no surprise that both were composed by musician Jesse Frederick. The show follows the typical family sitcom format up until the fifth season when it absolutely blew our brains out. Steve Urkel, the nerdiest nerd that ever nerded, uses his scientific prowess to create “cool juice,” an elixir that transforms him into Stefan Urquelle, the sexiest, smoothest, anti-nerdiest man on Earth.
Award: Best Dark Comedy
Somebody explain to us why Dinosaurs lasted only four seasons but touched our lives forever? Second question: Did you know that the mama of “Not the mama” is the voice of Jessica Walter, aka Lucille Bluth?!? Dinosaurs was the 90’s Flintstones: prehistoric creatures living in a world of modern creature comforts. It was also, hands down, the scariest show that TGIF had to offer. Just five years after perfecting unsettling puppeteering in Labyrinth, The Jim Henson Company brought that same sense of wonder and weirdness to television audiences with the dysfunctional yet lovable Sinclair family.
Step by Step
Award: Most Sexual
The most successful TGIF shows have a common theme: cram as many family members into one house as possible and let the feathers fly. On Step by Step, it was painfully obvious that the way to get more family members was to make them. With sex.
Boy Meets World
Award: Best Love Story
It turns out that the Internet is filled with Boy Meets World fanfiction, just like our hearts are filled with love for Cory and Topanga. As with all TGIF shows, every episode has a “life lesson” moment in which Cory, Shawn, or Eric is shown the light. Boy Meets World taught home audiences to respect their elders (or at least their Mr. Feenys), to seek out family beyond blood relations, and to run head-first into true love. Whether you’re a curly-haired tween or a busty geek with humongous bangs, lifelong happiness is yours for the taking.